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The word mandala has it's origin in Buddhism and Hinduism and it refers to a circle which depicts most sacred arts by Buddhists and Hindus alike. These mandalas have ritual and spiritual significance and they in particular influence meditation practices such as Yoga. It is believed that mandalas help initiate sacred spaces within ones mind, which in turn influences the achievement of mystical justification of oneness and deeper levels of the unconscious. Because of this, mandalas have become increasingly popular as people believe that through them, they can relate to their disorders and consequently adjust or rectify them in an effort to achieve wholeness. The following is a follow up on how mandala coloring as a form of therapy, influences the art of healing, self-expression and insight of the mind.
Mandalas are related to the mind in the sense that they ensure complete relaxation not to mention increased concentration. Because of this, coloring mandalas has been found to aid the process of meditation, bearing in mind that this can only happen if the individual is highly relaxed. Generally speaking, mandalas have been incorporated into many fields of study including astronomy and mathematical representations. It is also through mandalas that the human perspective of the universe is visually presented. Because of its close resemblance to art therapy, mandala coloring is usually subject to constant misrepresentations. There exist however, particular known similarities between the two forms of therapy.
Similarities between Art Therapy and Mandala Coloring Therapy
Perhaps one of the most binding similarities is the fact that both forms of therapy use art as a form of self-expression. Mandala coloring may use symbolism aided by the use of color but it borrows heavily from art in general as many of the concepts applied have their origin in art. Art as a form of therapy has been known to reduce anxiety. This is very similar to what mandala coloring does if one pictures increased concentration and relaxation to mean reduced anxiety. The fact that mandala coloring uses drawings also signifies how intertwined it is to art. Pictures tell who we are in an artistic way that incorporates the symbolism of mandala in the revelation of our inner self. It is this very fact that serves to justify that both forms of therapy reward individuals by helping them discover their inner self in their own unique way that is brought out by ones own creativity.
Mandala coloring therapy is very effective in the reduction of anxiety and as a form of relaxing ones mind. Through mandala coloring, one is able to develop exceptional mediation skills and a care free attitude. It helps in the realization of ones inner purpose through symbolic patterns which are presented in the colorings. Its major beneficiaries however people living with particular disorders such as autism. Due to the fact that their expressive selves cannot be understood, they suffer acute marginalization. With mandala coloring, they are able to fully express their inner feelings and thus communicate whatever it is that is on their minds. It is also believed that mandala can lower blood pressure and decrease stress levels. In general, mandala coloring is very beneficial health wise to most of the people who use it.
From previous discussions, we have seen that mandala coloring is in itself a form of art therapy though not wholly. Because of this fact, mandala coloring therefore uses many artistic elements in order to have its desired effect on the user. It involves the coloring of circles by individuals and from these circles, one is then able to deduce how the individual perceives his own world. Some of the basic elements of mandala coloring therapy include accuracy and concentration. The regression degree of a mandala coloring is measured within this range using color related concentration coupled with accuracy to determine the regression.
Yoga is basically a discipline that involves mental, spiritual and physical awareness of one self. It has its origin in India and is closely associated to mediation in the sense that it also generates a state of perfect mind control and collectiveness. Yoga is deeply rooted in Hinduism and is found in the first six teachings of Hindu philosophy. Its basis is that the when one reaches their highest meditative state, then they are considered to be liberated. This is further seconded by the fact that Yoga influences complete cessation of ones thoughts, and instead creates a state of mental awareness.
The development and realization of ones inner self is a process that requires extreme concentration and discipline. This is where yoga comes into perspective in the effective application of mandala coloring as a form of art therapy. Mandalas are created essentially to represent specific forms of ones thoughts. People often look at mandala colorings in order to realize, their bodily and mental centers in their own unique way. This will perhaps be very effective in the attainment of ones inner fulfillment if by any chance yoga is incorporated. In my own opinion, I think that both yoga and mandala coloring therapy are related due to the fact that they are all forms of mediation and the techniques involved are quite similar.
Mandala coloring is deeply rooted in ones psyche and spirituality. Religion plays a center role in determining whether mandala coloring will be effective for a particular patient. Because of the fact that spiritual connections often involves having utmost faith in the unseen, scientists who practice mandala coloring therapy have realized that physical well being is very much tied to spirituality. Patients with abnormal mental conditions have often been found to elicit some kind of peaceful connection with mandalas. Perhaps it is because circles are a representation of our own world as human beings.
Through mandalas, doctors are able to deduce what actually ails the patient and in addition they can also deduce the patient's likes and dislikes. This in my own opinion helps in the facilitation of communication between doctors and patients. Studies by scientists have also confirmed that meditation actually boosts the immune system of human beings. The fact that meditation is intertwined with religion and ones spirituality also makes mandala coloring as a form of mediation, effective as a healing tool.
For one to fully achieve mental, physical and spiritual liberation, extensive concentration and relaxation of both the mind and body is needed. Meditation as in yoga provides mental space for this particular liberation whilst other forms of meditation like mandala coloring, facilitate ones own perception of their world. In meditation, one can only be perfect and it is this perfection that is presented by mandalas. The incorporation of mandalas into the medical arena has served to improve the process of healing. The availability of mandala coloring books for home use also help in the reduction of stress and the realization of ones physical and mental wholeness.